Circus TwenteDesign exercise by invitation
- Client: Twente Center for Architecture
- Status: Completed
- Location: Twente
- Year: 2011
Enschede, the largest city of the Twente region, has a bad accessibility to the lifeline of the region: the A1 motorway and the Berlin-Amsterdam railroad. Smart regional brands like FC Twente football club and the Twente University also have poor transport links to this increasing international corridor between Amsterdam and Moscow.
Simultaneously, there is a fierce debate about the future exploitation of the former military airport and its surroundings, that are located in the area between Enschede and the corridor. The region is divided in pros and contras: the city of Enschede advocates development as a civil airport while a large lobby embodie by the Twente-born comedian Herman Finkers is against. However, the opposition in the debate is a paradox.
The tranquility of the area is a consequence of the closeness of the airport. Without the restrictions the airport imposed on development, the area for long would have been given up for urban development. That is still a logical threat of closing the airport permanently. Circus Twente looks beyond the runway and connects the two observations in one vision for the inbetween zone of Hengelo, Enschede and Oldenzaal.
The plan introduces a perfect circle as a panacea. It will divide the area in two clear counterparts: the interior and the exterior. Just like a British circus- think of Picadilly or The Circus in Bath- it is a place where roads converge around a open central space. Here, the innercircle is a Wild Heart, where activities will be actively delayed. This is an area for peace and quiet and for cross-country and hunting in the open nature. The area outside the Circus is a development zone consisting of three parts, where development connects with the specific qualities like the university and sports (Top Twente), the A1 and international railwaystation with the airport (international Twente) and the regional landscape (Healthy Twente). The circle itself is a scenic circular road, that provides a double driveway from the A1 to Enschede and the university.